The opera composer who lived from 1813 until 1883 created a new form of music drama - and a festival that has taken place in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth since 1876.
He was his own librettist, composer, stage director, designer and even designed the festival theater where his works are given their most authentic performances to the present day. A revolutionary in his youth and in some ways a political reactionary in his later years, Richard Wagner was also a prolific writer whose opinions remain hotly discussed. Most of all, Wagner was a visionary of music theater. The Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth has continued in a turbulent but unbroken tradition for over 140 years, and its performances are widely noted worldwide.